Navigating the need for a Self Assessment tax return in 2023

The deadline to complete a 2022/2023 self assessment tax return is the 31 January 2024.

In a press release last week HMRC are urging people to check if they need to complete a tax return so they don’t miss the deadline and incur penalties.

Checking your self assessment eligibility now let’s you cancel a tax return if it’s not needed or complete it nice and early.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

“It is important that taxpayers check if they need to complete a Self Assessment tax return so they can pay the right amount of tax owed and avoid penalties for not filing a return. It is quick and easy to check by using the interactive tool on GOV.UK – there is no need to ring us.”

How do I check if I need to complete a tax 2023 tax return?

HMRC provides a free and easy to use online tool which let’s you check if you need to submit a tax return for the 2023 tax year.

The 2022/2023 tax year runs from 6 April 2022 up to the 5 April 2023.

The online tool allows you to check without having to call HMRC which isn’t always ideal especially if you are working during the day.

You can find the interactive tool on GOV.UK here and you don’t need to log in to any accounts to use it (so no passwords and usernames needed).

Why would I need to complete a self assessment tax return?

HMRC want you to register for self assessment by 5 October (after the end of the tax year) if you need to submit a tax return. You can still register for self assessment after this date.

Some of the most common reasons for needing to register for self assessment are:

  • You have self employment earnings over £1,000.
  • You are a higher rate taxpayer under PAYE with income of over £100,000. The SA threshold for higher rate taxpayers changes from April 2024.
  • You are a landlord with rental income of £2500 or more.
  • Your bank and/or building society accounts generate interest of over £10,000.
  • You have received dividends that are greater than £10,000.

How do I register for a 2022/2023 self assessment tax return?

Registering with HMRC for self assessment can be done online and they way you do it depends on why you are meeting SA criteria.

HMRC breaks the registration process it into three categories of not self employed, self employed and partner or partnership.

You can also reactivate an account online if you have had a self assessment record in the past.

Cancel your 2023 tax return if you no longer meet criteria

If you already complete a tax return each year but a change in circumstances means you don’t need to submit one for the 2023 tax year you should tell HMRC as soon as possible.

Don’t assume that HMRC knows about your change if circumstances. HMRC sometimes needs your help by letting them know what has changed so they can update your SA record and cancel your 2023 tax return.

Contacting HMRC before the 31 January 2024 deadline is sensible because it helps you steer clear of potential late self assessment penalties.

The HMRC tool is useful if you need to check your obligations under self assessment. Popular reasons for cancelling a tax return include stopping work or a self employed business or you’ve entered retirement.

You can cancel your tax return online but you will need to access your government gateway account to start the process.

HMRC can usually cancel your tax return over the phone as well after you have answered a series of questions.


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